Clemson shined brightest on a cold, gray day in Greenville and evened the rivalry series with USC at a game each with a 6-3 victory in front of 7125 chilled fans at Fluor Field. The victory snaps Clemson’s three game losing streak to the Gamecocks. The teams will play the rubber game in the series Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium at 3:00 PM. Clemson will be going for its first series victory since 2010.
The day belonged to a quartet of Clemson freshmen starting with pitcher Clate Schmidt. He went seven innings allowing five hits and two runs to improve to 2-0 on the season.
The trio of Steve Duggar, Tyler Krieger and Maleeke Gibson combined for five of Clemson’s 11 hits and 3 RBIs. Duggar had two hits and two RBIS and Krieger also was flawless in the field at short.
(Jack Leggett, Clate Schmidt, Steven Duggar, Thomas Brittle)
(Chad Holbrook, LB Dantzler, Colby Holmes, Adam Westmoreland)
Clemson built a 5-0 lead and then had to weather a couple of USC rallies. The Tigers scored two runs in the second as Garrett Boulware doubled in one run and later scored on a single by Krieger.
The Tigers expanded their lead to 5-0 in the fifth. Steve Wilkerson singled in one run as the Tigers chased Gamecock starter Colby Holmes. Adam Westmoreland came on with the bases loaded and gave up a two run single to Duggar to give the Tigers a five run cushion.
USC finally got to Schmidt in the sixth with back to back solo home runs by Max Schrock, the first of his career, and LB Dantzler, his fourth of the season.
The Gamecocks got runners to second and third with two outs in the seventh but Chase Vergason struck out swinging to end the threat. But they made it a 5-3 game in the 8th with back to back two out doubles by Joey Pankake and Grayson Greiner.
Clemson got that run back in the 9th on an RBI single by Thomas Brittle. Matt Campbell, who came on the 8th, put the Gamecocks down in order in the 9th to earn his third save of the season.
Clemson improves to 6-3 while USC falls to 7-2. The loss snaps a five game winning streak for the Gamecocks.